Idea validation · Ideation

Getting stuck on ideas an entrepreneur. What next?

Kennedy Otieno Budding digital entrepreneur whose current status is; Stuck between a rock and hardplace

May 9th, 2017

I have been thinking of digital solutions to certain problems in the digital marketplace. Initially, i had one for developing a tool that can be used by researchers, students and people who love to read and save excerpt of what they read. I was so excited that i immediately rushed to find a team to work on it. I didnt have good funding so i settled on developers who gave me minimum quote. Now i already paid half the agreed quote but the kind of delivery they have made is waay below my expectations. The quality of UI design is not good and some issues here and there.This is a new idea so that may be one of the reasons for this sluggishness on their side. I am so discouraged that im thinking of abandoning the project because "maybe it wont work the way i thought it in my head". On the other hand i thought i should just pay the developers and take the project as a prototype to illustrate and find new developers (if i take this option its gonna cost me the remainder fee). Im really stuck between a stone and a hard place. Just as i am stuck, i have thought about a new idea (two more potential ideas i can try). I just dont know how to proceed. Its not just funding thats a problem but also the technical advice. What i realised from this first and pending project is that having a team who believes in the same idea is so important because at times i get discouraged with technical issues and i cant talk with anyone except myself. I hope someone out there understands my dilemma.

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

May 9th, 2017

You should never go with the lowest bidder as your metric for finding developers. Find developers based on reputation, their availability, and experience. Start over with good developers. Wireframe it yourself with balsamiq or similar... Don't use a failed effort as your wireframe. Get whatever customer feedback that you can before you start even building a barebones MVP. Make real customers part of the process from the very beginning ... With luck they might help you fund development themselves and can test and provide feedback during development.


May 9th, 2017

You aren't alone, that is certain.

Yhan ESSOH Senior Product Manager and Customer Development Executive

September 22nd, 2017

Hi Kennedy,

Part 1 : never choose the lowest bid when looking for developers

You should find the guy who has the required skills to do your work. The most the guy is skilled the most expensive he is.

Part 2 : never start your business with developing the solution.

This is a waste of resources. Development are so expensive and founders financial resources are so limited. You would better use your money to 1) validate the idea ; 2) validate the business model ; 3) validate the financial viability ; 4) validate traction and sustainability and ; 5) and raise funds.

Part 3 : startup building is not a solo sport

You need an advisor or a co-founder who really knows how to build a start-up business from scratch, and that specifically has strong skills and start-up experience in:

1) lean customers interview hack,

2) lean marketing,

3) customers growth hack,

4) business idea vetting,

5) how to detect early that an idea will fail,

6) how and when to pivot,

7) climbing the mvp mountain,

8) b2b and b2c sales best practice (because you have no business if you can't sell)

9) psychology of selling

10) financial modelling for startup (because you will need to check the likeliness of your business model to generate enough value and money to be financially sustainable)

I can help you on all that.

Part 4 : Business idea vetting skills

You will need to learn some specific skills related to business idea vetting.

1/ sniff testing

This is the capacity to split your ideas into small parts and assess the likeliness of each part to be a contributor to the overall success of your future business without spending time and resources doing standard market research. It can help you identify winners and looser early and help you save precious time and resources.

2/ customer development and market research

This is the capacity to identify the best people to talk to, the best places to find them, the best way to approach them, how to talk to them so that they are not getting bored, what to ask to get a comprehensive and useful insights for your business.

3/ financial modelling for startup

This is the capacity to check whether or not your idea/customer/market align to generate enough value and money to build a sustainable business.

4/ Capacity to generate back-up ideas or sub-ideas. As you move further and deeper in customer development, you will probably notice that the current version of your idea is a b*llsh*t. This can lead to panic if you don't have backups. You can be either disappointed and abandon (smart decision) or stubborn and continue (foolish decision).

5/ Capacity to identify early which part of your business idea is too weak to be pursed

Hope this helps.

Feel free to join me on LinkedIn or send me a private message here if you need further help.



Kennedy Otieno Budding digital entrepreneur whose current status is; Stuck between a rock and hardplace

May 9th, 2017

Thank you David Austin, that is exactly the lesson i have learnt. Its unfortunate that i have learnt it the hard way after investing cash on it. Initially i was not aware even of what wireframes are. So i left it all to them. In my future projects i will make sure i take active part and only go for quality